No players make the soccer team at walk-on tryouts

Emma Collins

Prior to Spring Break, close to fifteen brave Georgia Southern students attended walk-on tryouts for the men’s soccer team with one goal in mind: prove to the coaches that they were talented enough to deserve a spot on the team. This year, though, no one made the cut.

Walk-on tryouts were held at the practice fields on Fair Road, and started on March 9. Those wishing to tryout were not required to attend all three days, but they were encouraged to come as much as possible to demonstrate their skills.

Day One saw nine hopefuls take the field, despite the foggy and chilly weather conditions. These walk-ons joined the Eagles in a scrimmage game. During the game, Head Coach Keven Kennedy observed the walk-ons closely, watching for skill and ability.

Sean Smith, a sports management major, felt as if his first day of tryouts went fairly well.

“Today, I think I did pretty good, I mean I just gotta get more chances and do my part. I like the competition,” Smith said.

Uche Alexander, a business administration and economics major, really wanted to be a part of the soccer program, but did find keeping up with the current players a challenge during tryouts.

“I want to be part of Southern’s soccer. I feel like the program would be really good for me. It’s a good way to improve my skills and fitness. I think we had a good game today. It’s pretty tough out there. We had to play hard and we had to play big,” Alexander said.

The majority of these walk-ons were trying out because they have loved the sport for years; many of them have been playing since they were kids, but simply had not pursued the sport in college so far.

On Day Two of tryouts, conditions were rainy, and the field was wet and muddy. Among the walk-ons were a few new faces—those who had been unable to attend tryouts the day before. Once the scrimmage game began, the coaches congregated on the sidelines, once again observing the men who were trying out for the team.

Smith, who had been present the day before, did not feel that the second day went as well as the first.

“I don’t think I did as well as I could have yesterday. I couldn’t get my feet to do as well dribbling. I still made some chances and scored, though. I’m going to go work at the RAC today to practice,” Smith said.

Troy Eskew, an aerospace engineering major who tried out because he loves the game and hoped to continue his career, felt that he performed better on day two.

“Today was much better. It was a much better field out today, and I’ll definitely be back,” Eskew said.

One of the walk-ons who had not been present the day before, Ayodeji Adesuyi, said he was prepared for tryouts because of his prior experience at a Division II school.

“I kinda had an idea of what to expect because I came from a DII school, Wingate. It’s high intensity. I just need to have a good finish on the ball,” Adesuyi said.

On the third and final day of tryouts, the weather was warm and sunny. During this scrimmage game, the coaches were much more involved. They walked the sidelines, shouting directions at those on the field. All the walk-ons were determined to take this last opportunity to show their skills.

At the end of the morning, Coach Kennedy informed all the walk-ons that he and the assistant coaches would make a decision within twenty-four hours. The next day, he announced that the men’s soccer team was not going to pick up any walk-on players this year.

Currently, there is only one player on GSU’s men’s soccer team who was asked to join the team after walk-on tryouts: Darton Churchwell. Churchwell had previously played soccer for Darton College.